As a keen surfer, champion Geelong midfielder Patrick Dangerfield would normally head straight to the ocean with the Cats enjoying a few days off in the AFL’s pre-finals bye round.
But Cats coach Chris Scott was relieved the 2016 Brownlow medallist from Moggs Creek on the Great Ocean Road didn’t instinctively wax his board this time.
Dangerfield wasn’t prepared to take the risk after a fellow surfer was attacked by a shark close to his preferred break earlier this week.
“The shark attack was about 500 metres away from my favourite surf spot. So, I’ll probably stay out of the water for the next couple of days,” Dangerfield told AAP at the All-Australian function.
“Scotty didn’t say no, more the sanity said no. I’ll be steering clear of that this week.”
Like most dedicated surfers, Dangerfield won’t be spooked for long by the Great White fright for a wetsuit colleague at Cathedral Rock, a popular surf break near Lorne.
“I can only speak for myself, but with most surfers, it’s hard to stay away from the water. So, there’ll be surfers back there in no time,” he said.
Dangerfield, named All-Australian this week for the fifth time and third season in a row, believes the AFL’s pre-finals bye week is beneficial for the Cats this time compared to being a disruption last year.
“For us last year it probably halted the momentum we had brought into September whereas this year we needed it because we had a few players a bit sore and sorry. So, it will do wonders for us,” he said.
Like giving midfield mate Joel Selwood vital extra time to recover from ankle surgery ahead of next Friday’s qualifying final against Richmond.
“He’s a star and we’re expecting him to play the usual Joel Selwood way. He’s a pro and it will be nice to have him back out there,” Dangerfield said.
“If we do things right, we can get on a roll. I think we’ve played pretty good footy over the last month and our best is as good as anyone.”